This is the question I ask myself every time I decide to read a book.
The reason behind this question is that since my available reading time is so limited, why potentially waste it on something that hasn’t been proven to be an awesome read. What I mean by awesome read is something that spans the intellect and admiration of multiple generations. That’s why I am fond of the classics. I have probably read between twenty-five and thirty classical novels (in my mind that falls anywhere after 1760 – early 20th century. My favorite authors within this time frame are: Jane Austen(dah!), Franny Burney, Ann Radcliffe, and Charlotte Bronte).
When I think about reading something new, that means something after 1950. My time frames are obviously long-winded, but there are so many well written books that I haven’t read yet! The first book I read this year was Casino Royale, published in 1953, once again, something that’s lasted a few generations. Other books that fall within my idea of new are: Ender’s Game, Rumpole and Jurassic Park. I will admit to reading a great deal of vampire lit, including the Twilight series, Sookie Stackhouse series and Vampire Diaries. I am also currently working on the Game of Thrones series and the Hunger Games series.
But it’s common knowledge that if you’re an aspiring writer, like me, you need to read what’s being published now, within the past five years. This is what I’m currently struggling with. How do I know if these new books are worth my time? I don’t mean to sound high and mighty, but I really don‘t have much time for reading.
I’ve been using Twitter as a means to see what’s going on in the writing community and so far it’s been a productive endeavor. The agents I follow tweet about new novels they’re reading and if they’re any good. The Emperor’s Blades has gotten great reviews, so I’m thinking this will be my first foray into the newly-newly published.
So why read anything new? Because I just have to! Nobody sits around talking about Pride and Prejudice or Great Expectations and the publishing standards today are so excessively different that these classics are hardly modern references for my writing. However, what I can take away from them are good storylines and well developed characters. All truly good books have both of these attributes, so I can’t say I’ve wasted my time.
I’m looking forward to checking out what the cool cats are reading these days! I’ll post my reviews as the year progresses!